Irish road problem: finger of blame pointed at … fairies!
Until today I had never heard of fairy forts. Then along came a report from the Irish Times which says that a relatively new road is cursed because fairy forts were destroyed in its construction.
The theory that it’s the-fairies-wot-did-it was put forward by Ireland Independent Teachta Dála Danny Healy-Rae, above. He insists that a dip in the Kerry road – which had been repaired before – keeps reappearing because of fairy forts.
There are numerous fairy forts in that area. I know that they are linked. Anyone that tampered with them back over the years paid a high price and had bad luck.
Asked if he believed in fairies, the TD said the local belief – which he shared – was that:
There was something in these places you shouldn’t touch.
These were “sacred places” and fairies were believed to inhabit them, he added.
Healy-Rae, who owns a plant hire company, said:
I have a machine standing in the yard right now. And if someone told me to go out and knock a fairy fort or touch it, I would starve first.
He first raised the issue of fairies at a Kerry County Council meeting in February 2007 after the N22, then a relatively new national primary road, developed a dip near Curraglass.
In a formal motion on the cause of the hollow, Mr Healy-Rae, then a councillor, had asked:
Is it fairies at work?
The council’s road department replied that it was due to:
A deeper underlying subsoil/geotechnical problem.
The issue was again raised at a county council meeting last week, where Healy-Rae’s daughter Maura said her father was convinced fairies were in the area.
Yesterday he said the road network passes through an extensive area of standing stones, stone circles and ancient monuments that is rich in folklore and fairy stories and that was causing the problem.
That is what is responsible for the dip in the N22 which has occurred again, despite the council spending around €40,000 to repair it.
Healy-Rae has a brother – also a TD – who appears to be away with the fairies as well. The BBC reports that Jackie Healy-Rae has previously hit the headlines for comments in which he denied any human impact on climate change and said that “God above” controlled the weather.
A couple of years ago, Eddie Lenihan, above, famed Irish author, storyteller and broadcaster, warned West Pharmaceutical, an American company, that the destruction or removal of a fairy fort on land it was developing would spell dire consequences and bad luck for all those involved .
And this from the Tripping Blonde blog:
There are many examples of misfortune that fell upon folks who disturbed these ancient fairy forts, including stories of septic hands and missing cows, to some more modern examples of personal doom and financial ruin.
For example, some say that the individuals who signed off on the partial destruction of fairy forts in the Tara Skyrne Valley to make way for the M3 motorway suffered severe hardships and freak accidents as a result of their decision. Doom and gloom struck these men as soon as construction of the motorway began in 2007.
In 2011, some say the fairies got their revenge on one of Ireland’s richest men, Sean Quinn. In 1992, he relocated a 4,000 year old megalithic burial tomb that was in the way of a business venture. Twenty years later, in 2011, Sean Quinn lost everything and declared bankruptcy.
Although there are a few folks in Ireland who disregard the fairy forts and chalk these suspicious events up to coincidence (Hi Uncle Gabe!), there are many more who are very superstitious (Hello Mom!). When it comes to the fairy forts, they simply stay away. What better place for a fairy to take cover than in a fort where no human will dare go?
Hat tip: BarrieJohn